501c3 Board Members
Heather Berry is a Licenced Clinical Social Worker, dedicated to partnering with individuals to achieve their goals of positive wellbeing and improved mental health. Heather has been a mental health provider for over 30 years and believes in the value of active and engaged commitment to self-improvement through education, movement, good nutrition, and social support. Heather has been offering her clients a confidential, safe and supportive private practice environment to be heard, and understood for over 20 years.
Heather has been a director of clinic based mental health services, a college professor, speaker, and outdoor educator. Heather is an active community volunteer and seeks education to continually bring relevant evidence based strategies into her practice.
She has been a strong contributor to the Kern River Valley community, as a leader in times of community crisis, as well as committed to developing community based resources, support groups, and professional liaisons. Heather directs and facilitates the Kern Valley Professional Mental Health Forum, creating a collaborative for local and county mental health leaders to work together, developing programs and resources.
Roberta Piazza Gordon is a hospitality professional with a lifetime of experience. A Kernville native, Roberta owns and operates Piazza’s Pine Cone Inn (est. 1955), the oldest family owned business in Kernville.
Roberta spent a decade in the San Joaquin Valley as a television news reporter; she was the first female news anchor in Bakersfield. Her interests include photography, music, and wellness.
Lisa Smith Burgess
Lisa Smith Burgess has over 15 years in education. Lisa has professional experience serving children and families through the lens of mental health and social work. Thirty year resident of the Kern River Valley.
Vanessa Herrera is a community minded, nature loving, educator. Her career began in Outdoor/Experiential Education with Colorado Outward Bound where she used rafting and backpacking to teach leadership, grit and resilience. She watched students bloom on course in part because of the simplicity of the lifestyle and the daily connection to nature.
She went on to spend more than a decade as a classroom teacher. There she found that so many of her students were uncomfortable with quiet and had trouble focusing in class. In search of a way to help her students, she began exploring mindfulness and implemented this practice both personally and in her classroom.
For her maintaining wellness means yoga, meditation, spending time outdoors, and connecting daily with family and friends. Currently she works for the nonprofit Latino Outdoors where she helps Latino communities connect to the joy and healing found in the outdoors.
Ann Beman co-publishes Tahoma Literary Review, where she is nonfiction editor. She has an MFA in creative nonfiction from the short-lived but sweet Whidbey Writers Workshop and serves on the executive board of directors for Red Hen Press in Pasadena, CA. Beman also serves as reviews editor for the Museum of Americana online journal. She lives with two whatchamaterriers, a chihuahua, and her husband Marc, in Kernville.